As teachers, we all have one common aim for our students – that they should become lifelong learners, should think independently and become responsible citizens of the society. A lofty aim, not easy to accomplish.
This one aim forms the basis of every teacher’s pedagogy. We plan our lessons in such a way that every child can blossom. But we don’t always succeed in helping every child reach his/her potential. The journey of a child from class I to X should be planned in such a way that he/she is able to expand his/her learning in concentric circles and we should remember that the child should be at the centre of this circle of learning. Class I should provide 80 per cent opportunity and 20 per cent competition and in class X it should be the other way round. The percentage of opportunities should decrease and competitions increase as we move from class I to class X. All classes should have parallel and horizontal connections in terms of concepts. Teachers should establish these connections. For example, in class I you learn numbers and in class IX, the number system. Math teachers teaching class IX should be able to communicate to their counterparts teaching class VIII as to how much they expect students to know (in this case the various math concepts) by the time they enter class IX. This communication should pass down all the way to class I. This will help teachers at all levels to work together as one unit towards the one aim that we have for all our students. We can easily identify gaps and work to make learning easy for our students.
We should also always be aware and up-to-date with the growing knowledge in our subjects and be ready to pass this on to our students. Just like how knowledge is not static, our teaching strategies should also grow beyond the traditinal chalk and talk modes.
If we are to attract and sustain the tech generation’s interest in learning, we have to figure out how best they will learn. So that is the thing about teaching-learning, isn’t it? Even as we are teaching our students, we are constantly learning ourselves. And when our students notice this and realize that learning is constant, not something limited to the pages of a textbook then we would have accomplished our tasks as teachers.
The author is Head of Deparment, Math in Learning Paths School, Mohali. She can be reached at [email protected]